Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Flood arrives in Bangkok

Bangkok Post

City Hall has advised residents of over 200 households outside Bangkok's floodwalls along Khlong Hok Wa canal in Sai Mai district to evacuate to two temporary shelters on Wednesday.
Photo by Patipat Janthong
Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra issued his second warning on Wednesday.
He advised residents of those areas move to two shelters, at Sai Mai and Rittiyawannalai schools in Sai Mai district. The two shelters could accommodate 2,000 people.

The water in Khlong Rapheepat in neighbouring Pathum Thani province reached a critical level after another section of a dyke, about 200 metres, built along the canal was breached today, allowing the floodwater to pour into the area.

Soldiers based at Khlong Rapheepat asked canalside residents to urgently move to higher ground after more cracks were found on the earth dyke.

GMC trucks were sent to transport residents out of the area because the soldiers were finding it very difficult to repair the cracks.
Photo by Chanat Katanyu
This morning, MR Sukhumbhand warned via his Twitter website that seven districts of Bangkok are at risk of flooding and people in the areas should move their belongings to higher places.

The districts are Lat Krabang, Nong Chok, Minburi, Klong Samwa, Kannayao, Sai Mai and Bangkhen.

MR Sukhumbhand said the floodwater was heading down to these areas through the broken dyke at Khlong Rapipat. The water level could be higher than the floodwalls built by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and may inundate the districts.

He stressed that this warning was not a signal for an immediate evacuation as the water level would rise slowly and  local residents would have about 24 hours for preparations.

The governor said the BMA would provide information about flood risk areas every three hours.
On Vibhavadi-Rangsit road, the traffic was very congested as floodwater continued rising.

The water level was about 20 centimetres and only one lane was left for motorists due to heavy flooding. The traffic queue started at Simum Muang market in Pathum Thani province, reports said this afternoon.

The reports said the water level on Vibhavadi-Rangsit road heading to Thammasat University's Rangsit campus had increased to 50 centimetres.

The other side of the road was also flooded and the traffic was building up quickly from Zeer Rangsit shopping centre to Phahon Yothin road.

Future Park Rangsit shut its doors on Wednesady and will remain closed on Thursday because of the flooding on  the roads in front of one of Bangkok's biggest shopping malls.

The department store's public relations announced this afternoon that the closure may be extended depending on the situation.

People who have parked their vehicles at the store's car park are asked not to take them off during the closure. The free parking offer for customers who are flood victims is valid until Oct 31.
Photo by Thiti Wannamontha
Big C and HomePro stores, which adjoin the mall, were still open.

In the neighbouring province of Nonthaburi, the flooding has reached a critical level, with all districts now inundated.

Nonthaburi governor Wichian Phuttiwinyu said all six districts were now flooded. Bang Bua Thong and Pakkret districts were the worst hit.

A huge amount of floodwater from neighbouring Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani provinces has been flowing into Nonthaburi since yesterday.

The governor urged flood-hit residents wanting state assistance to contact officials on the 1131 hotline, which will receive their complaints around the clock.

Mr Wichian asked callers not to give false information to the hotline because hoax calls would only hamper efforts to help flood victims. He urged residents not to panic about the flooding.
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